Taking part in a clinical trial may be a good treatment choice for your child. Clinical trials are under way to help extend survival and increase the quality of life for juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) patients. Today's standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society continues to invest funds in JMML research.
Clinical trials can involve new drugs, new combinations of drugs or approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new ways such as new drug doses or new schedules to administer the drugs. Clinical trials are conducted worldwide under rigorous guidelines to help doctors find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment.
Current JMML Research and Clinical Trials
Below are some examples of research and trials for new or improved drug therapies and other treatment under way:
- Etanercept (Enbrel®). Scientists are studying the effects of the drug etanercept on relapsed JMML patients. The drug blocks a hormone called the tumor necrosis factor, which plays a role in helping JMML cells grow. Etanercept is currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
- Tipifarnib (Zarnestra®). Tipifarnib is a type of drug called a farnesyl transferase inhibitor. It works by blocking enzymes needed by cancer cells to form. A clinical trial conducted by the Children's Oncology Group, a childhood cancer research organization, has shown tipifarnib to be significantly effective.
- Second allogeneic stem cell transplantation. A second transplantation can be effective for JMML patients who have relapsed after a first transplant.